Typically women turn to their therapist and Häagen-Dazs after being dumped. Bella Acton, a brand and marketing consultant, has created a better way for the broken-hearted to stick it to the fickle man. Her website, Never Liked It Anyway, allows users to sell all those unwanted gifts and mementos from past relationships, so they can break the mental spin cycle of rehashing the ex’s misdeeds and move on with their lives.
In this installment of “Take Five Q&A,” Never Liked It Anyway CEO and Founder gives the site’s backstory, while discussing the therapeutic value of selling that tacky turquoise bracket, the Yankees mug, the Key West T-shirt – gifts you never really liked anyway, but pretended to in good relationship fashion.
For more information on how to get rid of your relationship leftovers, go to https://www.neverlikeditanyway.com
What was the impetus for starting Never Liked It Anyway? I am assuming there is a personal breakup story involved.
My boyfriend broke up with me 5 days before Christmas. We were meant to go back to London to have Christmas with his family, and suddenly I had these plane tickets that I no longer wanted. I started thinking about all these other things I had that I didn’t want any more – they were all perfectly nice – but I knew I wouldn’t want them anymore. I mean, who would want to wear their ex’s jewelry around my neck from your ex?! I started joking about a site that would let you offload your breakup baggage – I wanted to make it playful and positive and warm. Everyone laughed (including my ex). I then investigated the world of breakups and found there wasn’t really anything out there. The things I found were really mean, bitter and evil or a big soft (and pointless) group hug. There was nothing with attitude, cheekiness and something built around definitive action – sell something and use the money to buy something that will make you feel great! So, armed with this personal and universal insight, I set off to bring my idea to life.
There are a lot of wedding dresses and engagement rings for sale on the site, which is to be expected. What are some of the more unusual things people have tried to sell on Never Liked It Anyway?
We’ve had some weird and wonderful stuff – a bottle of ketchup (that this girl always hated and wanted it OUT of the house once her guy was gone!!), a Harley Davidson, a Buick, a BB gun, a body pillow, a book of poems and a collection of 140 DVDs! I have to say, I love the random stuff and stories the best.
I know women who have love letters and mementos from relationships that ended years ago. Can you explain the psychological benefits of getting rid of gifts after a courtship ends?
I met with an incredible Feng-Shui Expert last year who explained it all very clearly to me. It’s really about getting rid of things that remind you of the past and keep you anchored to it. When you clean out the old, you make space for the new – and also send a signal to yourself that this is a new chapter, one that you can write and create any way you want. There’s obviously sorrow in breakups, but beauty in new starts.
Breakups of any sort can be brutal. What advice do you have for women to speed up the healing process and help them move on with their life?
I think it’s all about taking action and actually doing something! Whatever that something is; write a song, make a cake, go rock climbing, clear our your closet, go to a life drawing class – whatever it is, make it tactile, hands on and physical….and make sure it keeps you busy. Breakups are really just a reset – and a good way to start a new hobby or pick up something you’ve always been curious about. Actually, we’ve just launched a new product to help you do just that. It’s called the Bounce Back Stack and we love it! There’s 50 adventure challenges to get you back to fabulous.
What are some of the interesting things people have done with the money they made on a sale?
One of my favorite stories is from one our sellers Leslie Durso. She sold a bunch of things from her ex-husband (and other exes) and is using all the money to fund her business Little Shirties – where she takes landfill-bound fabric and recycles it to make beautiful stuff whales for kids. It’s such a great project and makes me so happy that we could be part of it. We’ve had other sellers take big holidays, learn to surf and even pay off debt. It’s a pretty good feeling hearing these sorts of stories.